Steamboat traffic expected to ease as construction projects end |

Steamboat traffic expected to ease as construction projects end

Howelsen Hill Parkway between Fifth and Agate streets will remain closed until Nov. 1 as crews continue to work on the River Road interceptor project.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Motorists traveling into Steamboat Springs from the west side of town should expect a little smoother commute this month as the construction project on 13th Street starts to wind down.

“We’ve been keeping an eye on traffic flows in the morning from the west side of town and appreciate everyone’s continued patience,” said City Engineer Ben Beall. “While we do everything possible to minimize inconvenience, outside situations, like accidents and other projects, can influence traffic along this stretch of highway as seen over the past month.”

Beall was referencing a significant traffic delay caused by two separate crashes on the morning of Oct. 1. However, he said the more serious incident, which involved a medical issue and happened near Bud Werner Memorial Library, would have caused a backup even if 13th Street had been open at the time.

In an effort to help make the morning commute easier during the project’s remaining weeks, Beall said the contractor will keep 13th Street open to two-way traffic until 8:30 a.m. each morning before implementing daily closures and detours, which have been in place over the past month.

“We want to let folks know what they can expect, especially in their morning commute because what we don’t want to do is have a situation where people are guessing that 13th Street may or may not be open, then taking that route only to find that it’s closed,” Beall said.

The project, which is adding sidewalks and bike lanes along 13th Street between the Fairview neighborhood and Lincoln Avenue, was originally scheduled to be completed this week, but the forecasted winter storm will likely push the scheduled asphalt pour back a week with the project now expected to end during the week of Oct. 21.

Oak Street closure

Motorists have also been dealing with the closure of Oak Street between Sixth and Seventh streets in downtown. Beall said that project is on track to be completed by Halloween.

“We are replacing some aged drainage infrastructure for Butcherknife Creek and upsizing that for the 100-year (flood) event,” Beall said. “Right now, they are replacing the infrastructure underneath Oak Street. That project will also facilitate the completion of the sidewalks along Oak Street and Seventh Street in that immediate vicinity.”

Beall said this is the first phase of a larger project that will be completed in 2020 with the remaining work slated for Seventh Street and on both sides of Lincoln Avenue.

River Road interceptor

Detours and road closures will continue until Nov. 1 as the River Road interceptor project continues impacting traffic on Howelsen Hill Parkway and River Road.

“We’re anticipating the road (Howelsen Parkway) from Fifth to Agate streets and along River Road to be 100% closed until Nov. 1,” said Amber Gregory, utilities engineer for the city of Steamboat Springs. “River Road is closed to through traffic from Agate all the way down to Mount Werner Road. That’s the main access point to all of the homes in the Brooklyn neighborhood and to Extreme Power Sports and any of the other businesses there.”

She said communters headed to the Howelsen Hill Ice Arena and Parks and Recreation offices will be detoured through the rodeo grounds. People should park at the ice arena and walk along the west side of the building to access Parks and Rec.

The $1.68 million River Road interceptor project will include the installation of a larger sanitary sewer main to replace an aged and undersized system, a sidewalk to connect Fifth Street to Agate Street, two separate fiber optic conduit systems and a storm water system.

Gregory said this portion of the project, which is expected to take five or six years, should be completed by Nov. 1 when the asphalt plant closes for the winter. Crews will return next summer to begin the next phase of the project.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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